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EAA SAA Revolvers?

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The Ruger New Vaqueo seems to be pretty widely regarded as the most durable for Cowboy Action Shooting.  But, which brand of any of the SAA revolvers that are out there would be the closest second to the New Vaquero, or superior to it, with respect to durability/quality/price? 

 

Pietta and Uberti are considered very good products, but they don't seem to be considered quite as durable as the Ruger. 

 

Standard Manufacturing makes a really expensive SAA type revolver, and they have an outstanding reputation for quality. 

 

Then, there is also the Colt SAA itself, but the opinion of the Standard Mfg. product seems to even exceed the Colt for workmanship, fit, finish, durability, quality, etc...

 

I've been wondering about the quality of EAA (Made in Germany).  Anybody have any experience with the EAA quality/durability? 

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Standard manufacturing is too new to have that reputation and too new to know if they'll hold up. If I'm buying a SAA that isn't a Ruger it'll be a Pietta from EMF.  Take care of them and they'll hold up just fine and at least for the foreseeable future parts should not be a problem.

 

I won't buy a Uberti SAA simply because they've started adding idiotic safety features that I don't trust.

 

I've heard the EAA guns are fine but I'd worry about getting parts in the event something does happen. I also believe they have rebated cylinders, making it harder to tell if the guns are loaded or not. 

 

I'll say again if you aren't getting a Ruger, then I'd suggest a Pietta.

 

The best advice anyone can give you is, GO TO A MATCH and handle as much as you can.

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EAA single action sixguns are strong enough to handle .44 Magnums.  IIRC, they also have the transfer bar safety, I believed licensed from Ruger.  Personally, the best alternative to the New Vaquero is...the Old Model Vaquero, albeit the later are somewhat heavier.  What's more, they were available in .44 Magnum and also .44-40, besides .45LC and .357 Mag.

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Today .... you almost can't buy a "bad" Single Action Revolver.  You can get a "Friday" gun from any of the manufacturers but for the most part, the modern Single Action will last longer than you will.  I do agree with Tyrel.  Best value for dollar in the market place today is the GW II from EMF.  Were I in the market for a Suppository Shooter today, It would be a Stainless GW II from EMF (EMF is the importer of Pietta GW II).  Since I don't shoot cartridges anymore, I also get my Pietta Cap Guns from EMF.

 

I forgot to add .... Nobody builds guns that are CAS play ready out of the box.  ALL will want some work.  Should you consider Colt or Standard .. Just think, 2 grand for a new gun and it will need setting up for CAS.

 

Also forgot to add .... There is nothing wrong with EAA Revolvers.  Made in Germany, well made, will need setting up like any other Single Action, will be a nuisance for CAS because you can't see the case heads to verify a 5 round load. 

Edited by Colorado Coffinmaker
Add a couple of points
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Golly, how quickly we forget... can you spell:  Freedom Arms?  For my money, superior to the Ruger.

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We got to handle a Standard Manufacturing single action at Bud's guns in Knoxville Tennessee.  

 

2004070222_StandardManufacturingsingleactionOct2019.jpg.7c9ce1f4a0b4b50534f493296d6e37ce.jpg

 

Very impressive gun.  But in the same price range as new Colt SAA can be found. 

 

2016192140_ColtSAA1.jpg.41bdc3779994359c14d6dd8d2f320cd2.jpg

 

But you can buy 3 or 4 Ruger, Uberti or Pietta for the price of a Colt or Standard Manufacturing.  

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I started CAS with a EAA bounty hunter in 44 mag, I let it get away a few years ago, great gun, very solid. Only thing is the counter sunk cylinders make it hard to show safe at the loading table. 
 

BD

 

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I keep 3 young persons shooting using EAA's.  The only thing I did was weld up the hammer doing away with the transfer bar.  Tow guys and a girl learnt how to load a six shooter real quick.  I picked them up when I started shooting and they are still going strong in my son's safe with grandkids working on them..  Our rule is you shoot them you clean them and have never had a part break.

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4 hours ago, Warden Callaway said:

 

Very impressive gun.  But in the same price range as new Colt SAA can be found. 

 

 

Well, that's the rub isn't it?  When was the last time you actually found a new Colt SAA in a gunshop?  I certainly can't recall the last time I saw one.

 

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10 minutes ago, H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619 said:

 

Well, that's the rub isn't it?  When was the last time you actually found a new Colt SAA in a gunshop?  I certainly can't recall the last time I saw one.

 

 

Last spring one of our local toy stores got in 6 Colt SAA 7.5" 45Colt.   A pair were consecutive serial number.  He sold 4 the first day and the other 2 the next at MSRP.  He generally has a Colt SAA or Bisley.     Just east of there is a big time gun shop that has several.   But most are custom shop engaged and overpriced.   Another shop had a new Colt SAA in 357 and a New Frontier in 45Colt. 

 

For some reason,  there are more out there at better prices.  

 

Here is one we bought last July through GB for less than MSRP

 

 

Edited by Warden Callaway

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im thanking the OP for the question , got some good info on my EAA i recently purchased [used] NIB with all paper including original sales slip , i love the revolver - even if it is the only 38.357 i own [all of mine are 45s or 22s] im liken this one a lot , 

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I started shooting CAS matches with a pair of 44 bounty hunters.  They ran fine.  

Edited by WOLFY

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On 10/20/2019 at 9:33 AM, Quizcat said:

The Ruger New Vaqueo seems to be pretty widely regarded as the most durable for Cowboy Action Shooting.  But, which brand of any of the SAA revolvers that are out there would be the closest second to the New Vaquero, or superior to it, with respect to durability/quality/price? 

 

Pietta and Uberti are considered very good products, but they don't seem to be considered quite as durable as the Ruger. 

 

Standard Manufacturing makes a really expensive SAA type revolver, and they have an outstanding reputation for quality. 

 

Then, there is also the Colt SAA itself, but the opinion of the Standard Mfg. product seems to even exceed the Colt for workmanship, fit, finish, durability, quality, etc...

 

I've been wondering about the quality of EAA (Made in Germany).  Anybody have any experience with the EAA quality/durability? 

I think you are overthinking the durability issue. Sure if you are one of those guys that likes to dry fire the hell out of your pistols, anything out there should last you a very long time in this game. And even Rugers break transfer bars. The supposed weak point for the Colt style pistols is the hand spring, which is replaced by a Ruger style plunger and coil spring in both the newer pietta's and uberti's. I don't think you can go wrong with either gun. The pietta are made to the Colt size specifications, where as both the Uberti and Standard are slightly larger. The new uberti's use a hammer and trigger safety system, which is easily replaced by an older style hammer and trigger. EMF has some really nice offerings in their pietta line. That is where I would look first if I was in the market for new guns and didn't want to over spend.

18 hours ago, H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619 said:

 

Well, that's the rub isn't it?  When was the last time you actually found a new Colt SAA in a gunshop?  I certainly can't recall the last time I saw one.

 

That's because you are in Massachusetts. Seriously though, I have seen more new 2018-2019 Colt SAA's available through gunbroker and other venues in the last 6 months than I have seen in the last 5 years combined. I think Colt closing the custom shop to catch up on orders also increased the amount of standard offerings making it to market.

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On ‎10‎/‎20‎/‎2019 at 2:03 PM, Griff said:

Golly, how quickly we forget... can you spell:  Freedom Arms?  For my money, superior to the Ruger.

 

I must have been looking at the wrong website. The one I looked at listed a price of $2255.00

Edited by Marshal Chance Morgun
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56 minutes ago, Marshal Chance Morgun said:

 

I must have been looking at the wrong website. The one I looked at listed a price of $2255.00

You get from FA what you pay for.

When you handle one, you'll see.

BTW, FA's are made from 17-4 stainless steel. 

OLG

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On 10/20/2019 at 10:21 PM, watab kid said:

im thanking the OP for the question , got some good info on my EAA i recently purchased [used] NIB with all paper including original sales slip , i love the revolver - even if it is the only 38.357 i own [all of mine are 45 Colts or .357/.38spim liken this one a lot , 

I've been looking at the EAA's .357/.38spl, with wood grips, with 4.5" barrel, as a backup to my pair of Ruger stainless steel (Talo) Model #5159s.  The Ruger has a shortened hammer spur, and textured wood grips.  EAA's verson has a standard length hammer spur, and smooth wood grips.  The EAA has the transfer bar safety, and it's licensed to them by Ruger . The pricing on the EAA is very attractive.  List Price MAP pricing is only $521.00 on a new EAA, versus the Ruger, which is several hundred dollars(+) more expensive than the EAA.  The EAA version is in Nickel finish, but I'm not sure how nickel plating stacks up against stainless steel.  The EAA is 39 ounces and the Ruger is 43 ounces.  I guess the 4.62" barrel versus EAA's version at 39 ounces, and possibly the difference in finish composition, accounts for the weight difference.

Edited by Quizcat

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On 10/20/2019 at 6:56 PM, Warden Callaway said:

 

Last spring one of our local toy stores got in 6 Colt SAA 7.5" 45Colt.   A pair were consecutive serial number.  He sold 4 the first day and the other 2 the next at MSRP.  He generally has a Colt SAA or Bisley.     Just east of there is a big time gun shop that has several.   But most are custom shop engaged and overpriced.   Another shop had a new Colt SAA in 357 and a New Frontier in 45Colt. 

 

For some reason,  there are more out there at better prices.  

 

Here is one we bought last July through GB for less than MSRP

 

 

I actually purchased an NRA 1971 (1871) Commemorative Centennial Colt SAA, in .357/.38spl, 5.5" barrel, without the commemorative box, at a gun show back in 1998. I believe it's a generation 2 due to the commemorative year of manufacture, but Colt doesn't list the serial number NRA4XXX.  I think they made 5,000 of them.  It cost me $900 back then, and I thought maybe it had a malfunction after I played with it for a while, but turns out, I just wasn't pulling the hammer all the way back before pulling the trigger, and it would lock up. 

 

I took it to a gunsmith, and he checked it out.  It works good now. The gunsmith told me at the time that he didn't think it had ever been fired.  I think he checked it out, replaced one spring, and worked a little bit on the action, not up to cowboy Action Shooting performance, but it works perfectly now, and doesn't lock up, provided you pull the hammer all the way back, which is a normal condition for the Colt SAA.  I have been reluctant to shoot it because it's a "Commemorative," firearm.  But, it really has no particulalry blingish (is that a word?) embellishments, and I'm getting older, and have been thinking more recently that I might as well shoot it.  It's not displayed, and you can't take it with you in the end. 

 

I had always thought that maybe I could sell it at a decent profit, but I'm not sure that the NRA Commemorative Marking, or the unfired condition of it, would cause it to sell well or not, were I to sell it. I would kind of prefer that it was just a standard Colt SAA, and the NRA marking is relatively obscure, just a scrolled "NRA Commemorative 1871-1991," but I doubt I would ever find a standard Colt SAA Generation 2 in unfired condition, and I would probably not find a Colt SAA for a $900 price tag. I guess I could trade it off for a couple of good quality clones, Pietta or Uberti.  But, I do feel real reluctant to trade it off due to it's a COLT.

Edited by Quizcat

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4 minutes ago, Quizcat said:

I have been reluctant to shoot it because it's a "Commemorative," firearm. 

 

If you check around (at this point in time) most commemorative models are bringing less than equivalent standard models.  Guys are buying special edition models and using them to build custom guns.  

 

One big problem I'd have with EAA is that the recessed chambers for use in Cowboy Action Shooting would be difficult to tell if hammer is down on an empty chamber.  

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2 hours ago, Warden Callaway said:

 

One big problem I'd have with EAA is that the recessed chambers for use in Cowboy Action Shooting would be difficult to tell if hammer is down on an empty chamber.  

 

This^^^

 

Although there are ways to address that. I've heard of folks putting cylinders in a lathe and removing the lip.

Edited by Tyrel Cody
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42 minutes ago, Warden Callaway said:

 

If you check around (at this point in time) most commemorative models are bringing less than equivalent standard models.  Guys are buying special edition models and using them to build custom guns.  

 

One big problem I'd have with EAA is that the recessed chambers for use in Cowboy Action Shooting would be difficult to tell if hammer is down on an empty chamber.  

Yep, and no box with it devalues it with respect to collectors.  But, after all, it is still an unfired Colt SAA.  I'm reluctant to sell it just for the nastalgia, and mystic of it  alone.  But, I am becoming less and less reluctant to shoot it these days.  There's  just something about a real Colt SAA...But, as an FFL, I could almost have two backup Piettas or Uberties, and  EAA, for what the Colt SAA  Commemorative would sell for now... I figure it's probably worth $1400-$1500, maybe.  

Edited by Quizcat

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2 hours ago, Tyrel Cody said:

 

This^^^

 

Although there are ways to address that. I've heard of folks putting cylinders in a lathe and removing that recess.

Just to be clear, the chambers are not recessed; there is a lip on the rear edge of the cylinder that “hides” the case rims from view.  I’ve heard of people having the ridge milled off, but another approach is to mark the cylinder is such a way that the position of the empty chamber can be verified once the revolver is loaded.

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1 minute ago, Abe E.S. Corpus SASS #87667 said:

Just to be clear, the chambers are not recessed; there is a lip on the rear edge of the cylinder that “hides” the case rims from view.  I’ve heard of people having the ridge milled off, but another approach is to mark the cylinder is such a way that the position of the empty chamber can be verified once the revolver is loaded.

 I worded that poorly, should have said edge, rim, or lip.

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14 hours ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

You get from FA what you pay for.

When you handle one, you'll see.

BTW, FA's are made from 17-4 stainless steel. 

OLG

There's no doubt FA makes a fine piece. Are they ready to CAS out of the box? For the higher price, I would hope they were race-ready.

And my Rugers will outlast my grandkids so...

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On 10/20/2019 at 3:11 PM, Warden Callaway said:

 

 

 

Mike Beliavau shows and talks about the case rims being countersunk. He had the back of the cylinder cut back on the one he owns. 

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4 hours ago, The Rainmaker, SASS #11631 said:

There's no doubt FA makes a fine piece. Are they ready to CAS out of the box? For the higher price, I would hope they were race-ready.

And my Rugers will outlast my grandkids so...

Only the 2 six shot versions are SASS legal.

That the .357 and the 327.

Rest of the FA's are 5 shot.

http://www.freedomarms.com/firearms/m97pr/index.html

YES-they are ready to run out of the box IMHO.

OLG

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- What or Why is the “edge or rim” on the EAA cylinder, for/there?

- What purpose did EAA believe it would serve? 

- Or rather, what’s their story (or major malfunction) regarding this “recessed cylinder” design?   

- I haven’t seen one.

 

Cat Brules

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1 hour ago, Cat Brules said:

- What or Why is the “edge or rim” on the EAA cylinder, for/there?

- What purpose did EAA believe it would serve? 

- Or rather, what’s their story (or major malfunction) regarding this “recessed cylinder” design?   

- I haven’t seen one.

 

Cat Brules

 

Ok, I'll likely be corrected but the first recessed rim cylinders I'm aware of were on the first 357 Magnums.  I have a S&W 29-2 in 44 Magnum that has recessed cylinder.  I also have a 3 screw Ruger Blackhawk in 45Colt with extra 45ACP cylinder that has recessed cylindes.  As the ancester to the EAA dates back in the same era, I suspect they figured it was necessary or at least expected.  I'm not sure when they come to realize it wasn't necessary.   

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On 10/21/2019 at 8:11 PM, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

You get from FA what you pay for.

When you handle one, you'll see.

BTW, FA's are made from 17-4 stainless steel. 

OLG

Two problems that I know of with the FA. First is that the sights are adjustable, making it illegal for duelists and gunfighters. And second is they are butt ugly. And they don’t come in 45 colt for sass anyway. So that’s 3

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2 minutes ago, El Hombre Sin Nombre said:

Two problems that I know of with the FA. First is that the sights are adjustable, making it illegal for duelists and gunfighters. And second is they are butt ugly. And they don’t come in 45 colt for sass anyway. So that’s 3

Read my link again.

FA makes fixed sighted models. ;)

OLG

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5 hours ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

Read my link again.

FA makes fixed sighted models. ;)

OLG

Ok two out of three then 

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A Smith can mill " Windows " in your Cylinder so the rims can be seen ...

Just Saying .....

 

Jabez Cowboy

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Actually .... Be you careful with a narrow file, one can make one's own windows  :)

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Take the Colt you're not going to shoot down to Nick's Guns in Washington Missouri and trade it for a pair of what you can shoot.  He'll have one of over two dozen single actions that will be suitable for Cowboy Action Shooting. All shapes, makes and calibers.  He can get a second one to match in a couple of days.  Great guy to deal with. 

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On 10/24/2019 at 11:14 AM, Warden Callaway said:

Take the Colt you're not going to shoot down to Nick's Guns in Washington Missouri and trade it for a pair of what you can shoot.  He'll have one of over two dozen single actions that will be suitable for Cowboy Action Shooting. All shapes, makes and calibers.  He can get a second one to match in a couple of days.  Great guy to deal with. 

Sorry it took so long to reply, I had surgery last week, and I'm just now getting back into the swing of things...I'm getting closer and closer to actually deciding to shoot the Colt. 

 

But, even though the Colt carries the mystic of it being a Colt, I have my doubts, and it's just a feeling I have when handling it, as to whether a Generation 2 Colt SAA has the kind of durability, or even the reliability, of some of the currently available clones when applying them to the rigors of Cowboy Action Shooting. 

 

I'm torn...I want to keep an actual Colt SAA, do and don't want to shoot it, do and don't want to sell or trade it...LOL, I'm in such a funk of indecision over it, that it would probably be less torture to purchase one of the clones as a backup at FFL cost, and keep the Colt, than to agonize over the decision to part with the Colt. 

 

I have never visited Nick's although, of course I am aware they are there.  I didn't realize they had a wide selection of SAA clones.  Since I hold an FFL, I don't visit many gun stores, since I have access to almost anything and everything I want at dealer cost.  The Gun Stores that are in my area have a relatively finite selection to choose from in SAA clones, even the big box stores have finite inventory on SAA clones.

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